03 August 2008

They just don't get it, do they?

The Labour Leadership and Deputy Leadership contests are run on an electoral college system: one third of the vote is allocated to Parliamentarians (i.e. the 46 MSPs, the 38 MPs and two MEPs), one third to "affiliated organisations" (primarily members of Trade Unions) and one third to the members, with ballot papers being sent out by post.

The LibDem contest is a postal ballot of all its members.

So you would think, given that the eight candidates in the three elections would be itching to reach as many members as possible, particularly in the case of the Labour candidates who have to reach out to individual trade union members as well as their members. And you'd think that the Web would be a part of that communications strategy.

And yet, various attempts at googling the various leadership candidates have not yielded one single link to any of the campaign websites. Not on page one, anyway.

Bill Butler doesn't appear even to have any website at all.

Ross Finnie does, but I got at it via Bernard Salmon's excellent blog.

Iain Gray does have a website (you'll find it on the sidebar) but I got to it just by typing in "iaingrayforscotland.co.uk" - that being his campaign name - and awaiting the results.

Cathy Jamieson has a website, but I found that by going to her personal website and stumbling upon the link to it.

Andy Kerr's website is abysmally promoted, and I only got there after attempting to type in variations on "andykerr.co.uk", "andykerrforscotland.co.uk", "andykerrforlabour.co.uk", "andyforlabour.co.uk", "kerrforlabour.co.uk", finally reaching the thing on "kerrforscotland.co.uk".

Johann Lamont has a personal website - thank you, Google - but no reference to her Deputy Leadership campaign. This shouldn't be all that surprising as it appears to have received its last update in May 2006.

Mike Rumbles has a campaign website - found thanks to Bernard.

Tavish Scott has a website - again found via Bernard - but it contains only a solitary press release referring to his intention to succeed Nicol Stephen.

And the thing is:

The Net is a quick way to get to everyone.

It's also a cheap way of doing so.

It means that you can issue a statement within a few minutes.

It also means that you can react to events (and other candidates) easily, without having to hone up the papers.

And loads of people will be googling the candidates' names, only to draw a blank.

So to the candidates, I say only: shame on you for not taking advantage of a campaign tool. To their campaign managers, I say: shame on you for not sorting this. And to the people running their websites (if anyone), all I can say is: you're in the wrong sodding job.


youngdegsy said...

Tavish Scott has a leadership campaign website at www.tavishforleader.org. It's new, so that's maybe why it's not showing on Google yet.

Will said...

Thanks for the tip, youngdegsy... Noted, linked to and appreciated.